Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

BitTorrent Unveils Sync 2.0

Spy Handler Re:Sharing vacation photos (55 comments)

lol I didn't realize sharing vacation photos was such a problem that BT had to come up with a solution better than FB, Picasa etc.

But then I'm guessing if you were there in person while they made the announcement, you would've seen a "wink wink" after mention of vacation photos.

yesterday
top

Nokia's N1 Android Tablet Is Actually a Foxconn Tablet

Spy Handler Re:How much longer will Foxconn need Apple? (107 comments)

It can't happen to Apple because there's nothing special about the hardware of ipads. The secret sauce is iOS and the itunes ecosystem.

2 days ago
top

City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber

Spy Handler Since 2012 (164 comments)

For the past several years the city leaders of Toronto have been afraid to go after Uber, allowing it to operate unlicensed out of fear that the CEO and CFO of Uber will bash their heads in with baseball bats.

2 days ago
top

Scientists Optimistic About Getting a Mammoth Genome Complete Enough To Clone

Spy Handler Passenger Pigeon will come first (185 comments)

A team called Revive & Restore is in the process of cloning the extinct passenger pigeon.

They're getting close to finishing the passenger-pigeon DNA sequence. That's the easy part though, next they will have to inscribe the genome into a living cell and produce a viable embryo, and from that a living offspring.

Keep in mind the passenger pigeon only became extinct in 1914, which is fairly recent compared to the wooly mammoth.

2 days ago
top

Preview Jaunt's Made-for-VR 360 Degree, 3D Short Films

Spy Handler Re:360 3D (26 comments)

Ok, time to use the "Ask the Audience" lifeline: How does one shoot 3D in 360 without it needing an infinite amount of film?

It's not 3D in 360. It's stereoscopy in 360.

You know Google street view where you can rotate around 360 degrees? Well it's like that but shot with 2 cameras for 3D effect.

3 days ago
top

For Some Would-Be Google Glass Buyers and Devs, Delays May Mean Giving Up

Spy Handler Re:It's a combination of problems (153 comments)

Internet tough guy wants to remove my phone from my pocket? You do know that a cellphone located inside a pocket cannot record any useful video, right? It must be taken out, turned on, and aimed at your tough face before I can record you. At which point it will be obvious to anyone that I'm recording.

On the other hand, a Google Glass wearer is in position to record at any time and it's impossible for others to tell whether they're being videoed or not, aside from an indicator light (which may or may not be inactivated, be too dim to be noticed in direct sunlight, etc)

4 days ago
top

US Gov't Issues Alert About iOS "Masque Attack" Threat

Spy Handler Re:I don't get it... (98 comments)

Yeah my understanding was that you had to jailbreak your iphone first with Cydia or some such tool before you can buy apps from someplace other than Apple.

about a week ago
top

Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

Spy Handler Re:Microsoft losing to the school what? (219 comments)

if he had a Chromebook while he was in school, he might've learned how to spell Hear Hear properly...

about a week ago
top

Intel Claims Chip Suppliers Will Flock To Its Mobile Tech

Spy Handler Re:Multi-core? (91 comments)

The problems you describe have _absolutely_nothing_ to do with the underlying chip instruction set architecture.

Then what is it? Android OS problem?

about a week ago
top

Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group

Spy Handler Re:Wrong analogy (138 comments)

Two things. Yes, NASA selling cheap fuel to Google may not illegal but it's unethical to some observers. Can you or I buy fuel cheap fuel from NASA? No. It's favoritism, pure and simple.

Second, a 60 year lease is basically forever. Everyone currently working at NASA or Google will be long dead when the lease is over. So NASA is basically saying they don't need the land anymore. What would've been a more transparent action for a government agency? A. partition off the few buildings they want preserved as a museum and sell/lease the remainder of the 1000 acres in a public auction, or B. give it to the same guys that some have accused you of giving preferential treatment in what seems to be a sweetheart deal (995 acres in Silicon Valley is pretty pricey).

It doesn't help that Google has been flying NASA execs to gala events and seen hobnobbing with them. Replace Google with Monsanto or Microsoft and the same situation would likely provoke a different response from Slashdot readers.

about a week ago
top

Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group

Spy Handler Re:Two links (138 comments)

Submitter here. I only linked one article (the parabolicarc.com one). The editor added the second CNBC article (which I didn't know about). To be honest, the CNBC article has more info so it wasn't a bad call. Maybe what they should've done is replace my link with the CNBC link, or just reject my submission and write a new one.

about a week ago
top

Internet Sales Tax Bill Dead In Congress

Spy Handler This has 2 effects (257 comments)

1. It helps small/startup internet merchants. (big ones like Amazon got dragged into paying money to individual states)

2. It helps poor(er) people. Rich obviously do not benefit much from the few meager dollars saved buying stuff on ebay, and the very poor don't do online shopping. So the main beneficiary are lower middle-class people.

about a week ago
top

The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

Spy Handler Wait what, there's a registration fee? (246 comments)

I thought it was just a harmless enthusiast group promoting space travel and stuff.

If they're actually taking people's money as a fee (rather than a charitable donation) when they have no launcher no lander no habitat no nothing, they're selling snake oil.

about two weeks ago
top

Prehistory's Brilliant Future

Spy Handler Re:Illegal? (50 comments)

In China a lot of dinosaur fossils are sold in medicine shops. For some reason most Chinese still believe eating them cures disease and give you manly vigor.

One of the first things paleontologists do when they go to China is check out the pharmacies. Some good discoveries have been made by buying dino bones from pharmacies.

about two weeks ago
top

The Military's Latest Enemy: Climate Change

Spy Handler Not a big deal (163 comments)

military does this kind of stuff a lot. Anti war demonstrators like to insult the military saying it's stupid and "military intelligence" is an oxymoron, etc. But actually the military has many forward thinkers and they do a lot of planning and debating "what if" scenarios.

Back in the 60's they did a lot of strategizing about a possible moon base, in the 80's they did thought exercises on the possible implications of a Soviet meltdown, what would happen to our military capabilities in a worldwide AIDS/Anthrax pandemic, and so on. Now AGW is all over the news and they're doing contingency plans for that. No big deal, really.

about two weeks ago
top

The Largest Kuiper Belt Object Isn't Pluto Or Eris, But Triton

Spy Handler No it isn't (61 comments)

Triton was a Kuiper belt object. Now it's not.

How long must the discrimination go on? Surely a billion years is enough to qualify for Neptunian citizenship?

about two weeks ago
top

Life Insurance Restrictions For Space Tourists

Spy Handler Re:SpaceShipTwo - not good news (68 comments)

However, you missed an important part of the feather problem. The pilot erroneously unlocked it, but DID NOT deploy it. That is clearly an engineering problem.

It could be that I'm being too hopeful and trying to put the best light on things, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a major engineering problem.

It's possible they never did a simulation of what would happen if the feather was accidentally unlocked during early phase of the ascent stage because... it simply never occurred to them. Or maybe they did simulate it, but got a different result from real life (as in, the simulation showed aerodynamic forces weren't enough to move the feather, when in real life it was). You gotta remember that the copilot unlocked the feather at the worst possible time, it must've been at or near max-Q when it happened.

The fix could be as simple as a new pilot procedure, or a mechanism to keep the feather locked when the engine is firing.

We won't know for sure until the investigation is complete, but I'm just trying to see all the ways the program can still succeed.

about two weeks ago
top

Life Insurance Restrictions For Space Tourists

Spy Handler Re:SpaceShipTwo - not good news (68 comments)

Nono, an engine explosion would've been disastrous. It probably would've meant the end of the program.

Virgin Galactic program did things backwards. Normally you would start with a proven engine and build a spacecraft around it that's appropriate size and weight for the engine. But Virgin went the other way, they build the spacecraft to their specs first and then went searching for an engine that can lift it to the required altitude.

After 10 years of trying they gave up and discarded the Sierra Nevada rubber engine. This year they switched to a brand new nylon engine.

At this point the funds must be getting low. Developing a new engine is a HUGE cost. If the SS2 crash had been caused by the new nylon engine exploding, there is no way they can find yet another engine to replace that. They don't have the time or money. They were probably on their last legs as it is.

But fortunately the new engine was performing well, the crash was caused by a prematurely deploying feather. That's easy to fix. All they have to do is tell the pilot to DON'T MOVE THE UNLOCK LEVER until they reach 80,000 feet altitude.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

top

Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized by Consumer Group

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a week ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Yesterday's announcement that Google will lease Moffett Field from NASA for 60 years drew criticism from a group called Consumer Watchdog, which stated "This is like giving the keys to your car to the guy who has been siphoning gas from your tank. It is unfairly rewarding unethical and wrongful behavior."

Which makes one wonder: what's the market rate for a lease on 1000 acres of Silicon Valley real estate? And also, would the public reaction to this deal have been as muted if it had been, say, Monsanto getting caught underpaying the gov't for diesel fuel, only to be rewarded later with a large sweetheart deal for federal land?"
top

Steve Ballmer To Ban L.A. Clippers From Using Apple Products

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 2 months ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft who recently purchased the basketball team Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, will ban the use of Apple products by his team. Ballmer is no longer working for Microsoft but is still the largest individual shareholder, with about 4 percent of the company worth $15.7 billion."
top

How Russia Should Respond to U.S. Olympic Snub with Snowden

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a year ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "In a move that can only be interpreted as a snub against Russia's recent anti-gay laws, U.S. will be sending openly gay athletes as part of its delegation to the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, without President Obama or any other high ranking government official in attendance. Score one point for USA, most of us can agree that such anti-gay laws are unjust with no place in a modern civilized society. However, Russia can score its own point in rebuttal and highlight the log in America's own eye — NSA's global internet surveillance — by inviting Edward Snowden to the opening ceremony. Bonus point for having him light the Olympic torch."
top

Verizon Programmer Caught Outsourcing Own Job To China

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 2 years ago

Spy Handler writes "In 2012 when Verizon discovered that its corporate systems were being accessed by someone in China, it launched an investigation. Initially thought to be a case of industrial espionage or a malicious hacker, it turns out that one of their own employees had contracted his programming job out to a team in China. The programmer, man in his mid 40's identified only as "Bob", would show up for work, watch cat videos and surf Reddit (among other things), while the contractors in China did the work he was supposedly doing. He paid them one-fifth of the 6-figure salary he was getting from Verizon.

And over the past several years, Bob received excellent performance reviews of his "clean, well written" coding. He had even been noted as "the best developer in the building." However, Bob has been fired after his scheme was discovered."

Link to Original Source
top

NASA To Test Bigelow Inflatable Module Aboard ISS

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 2 years ago

Spy Handler writes "NASA has announced that it has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to build an inflatable module for the International Space Station. Details of the project will be announced Wednesday at Bigelow’s headquarters in Las Vegas.

Seems like all the pieces for a privately-built space renaissance are starting to fall into place. When the Falcon Heavy goes operational to provide cheap launches, we could finally have the spaceflight boom that space enthusiasts have been dreaming of."

Link to Original Source
top

HP Software Update Cancels Food Stamps

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "A software update of the California welfare computer system (CalWIN) caused 37,000 Food Stamp recipients to lose their EBT (a credit card paid for by the government) benefits last weekend. According to the article, Hewlett Packard was responsible for the failed update of CalWIN, but at 8:00 a.m. today Xerox (who administers another state welfare system called CalFresh) issued a patch that reactivated the EBT cards."
Link to Original Source
top

Google Threatened Acer with Banishment from Android

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler writes "In a Microsoft-esque move, Google threatened Acer with banishment from Android if it went ahead with its new cellphone project with Alibaba (China's version of Amazon), using an OS called Aliyun. Acer has remained silent on the issue, but Alibaba reports that they received notification from Google, stating "if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer." Possible reason for Google's upset is that the Aliyun OS, which is not Android, can run Android apps as well as its own."
Link to Original Source
top

SpaceX Dragon Launch To ISS Set For April 30th

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "NASA announced today a tentative April 30th date for SpaceX launch to the International Space Station on an unmanned cargo mission.

"Everything looks good as we head toward the April 30 launch date," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations.

If successful, SpaceX will become the first private company to launch a space vehicle and dock with the ISS."

Link to Original Source
top

Apple and Samsung Rake In 95% of Mobile Phone Profits

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "The race for mobile domination appears to be a two-horse race. According to a new CNET report, Apple took in a whopping 80 percent of all profits in the mobile phone business last quarter — that's counting all cell phones, not just smartphones. Samsung came in second, reaping 15 percent of the profits. Everyone else was left scrambling for crumbs.

Perhaps the release of Windows 8 phones can turn the tide and prevent a Apple-Samsung duopoly from taking place."

Link to Original Source
top

Free Hotel Wi-Fi Overwhelmed by iPads

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 3 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to iBAHN, a firm that provides Wi-Fi and computer services to hotels, free Wi-Fi networks are struggling to cope with the huge increase in traffic since the iPad was released.

"The iPad is the fastest-selling device in consumer electronics history, and because of it the demand placed on any public place Wi-Fi system has gone up exponentially in the last year and a half," said David W. Garrison, chief executive of iBAHN.

Hotels are now facing a tough choice; keep Wi-Fi free and risk angering customers with slow internet, upgrade their internet pipe and charge customers for Wi-Fi (which also might anger customers), or upgrade their internet and eat the costs."

Link to Original Source
top

Tearing Down iPhone 4S reveals 512MB RAM

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler writes "ComputerWorld is reporting that tearing down the just-released iPhone 4S reveals an A5 processor and 512MB of RAM.

"How do we know it's 512MB? Check out the marking, specifically 'E4E4,' denoting two 2Gb LPDDR2 die — for a total of 4Gb — or 512MB."

What's baffling to me — since I have yet to drink the Kool-aid and am unfamiliar with Apple hardware — is why did it take disassembling the phone and examining chip markings to deduce the amount of RAM in the system? In Linux and Windows, you type in one command and it tells you. Or simply looking at the box usually shows the processor, RAM and HDD size"

Link to Original Source
top

Would You Vote For a Programmer President?

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Herman Cain, one of the current front-runners in the race for the Presidency of the U.S., has a master's degree in Computer Science (and a bachelor's degree in Mathmatics). As a Slashdotter, would this fact affect your vote favorably toward him?

Contrast this with your typical politician, most of whom have a law degree and majored in something in liberal arts as an undergraduate. (Mr. Obama was a Political Science major and has a law degree)"
top

NASA's Space Launch System: a Critical Analysis

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Jerry Pournelle has posted a quick analysis of NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) on his website. His two main criticisms involve:

1. Usage of the Shuttle main engines. "Those were developed to be reusable, and they are expensive because of that. They are in fact magnificent engines and thoroughly reusable if operated at 90-95% of rated capacity; it’s not their fault that they had to be run at 103% and above to fly Shuttle. But they were developed to be reusable, and that adds greatly to their cost."

2. Usage of SRBs. "You don’t want recoverable solid rockets in the first place. The operations are a nightmare, and the design has to be compromised so that the impact on the water does not destroy the thing, and it has to float. All that changes the design and affects performance. There is no good reason ever to recover a solid booster, which is, after all, a big sewer pipe stuffed with guncotton and leached with nitroglycerine....

The only reason we ever came up with any notion as mad as a segmented solid booster was that the SRB had to be made in Utah because of political constraints. If you make a booster that size in Utah it has to be segmented because you can’t ship it by rail or on the highway – the curves are too sharp and the tunnels are not big enough. You would have to make it in Michoud Louisiana and ship it by barge to Canaveral. That is possible but Louisiana isn’t Utah. Apparently the new NASA design is worried about the Utah Senatorial votes to this day."


His widely read 2000 paper titled How To Get To Space provides excellent insights into the X-programs and is well worth reading."

Link to Original Source
top

Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler writes "In spite of the sensationalist stories on the Japan earthquake by U.S. media , which is giving the public an impression of a nuclear holocaust at the power plants and generally spreading anti-nuclear F.U.D., the reality is actually quite different... and not so dire. According to this article — which contains actual info about the reactors involved and how they function — everything worked exactly as the designers intended in a natural disaster scenario such as this, there will be no Chernobyl, and the public is not in danger of developing green skin and turning into the Hulk."
Link to Original Source
top

Pickens Plan comes to a wimpering end

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "In 2008, billionaire T. Boone Pickens unveiled his "Pickens Plan" on national TV, which calls for America to end its dependence on foreign oil by increasing use of wind power and natural gas. Over the next two years, he spent $80 million on TV commercials and $2 billion on General Electric wind turbines. Unfortunately market forces were not favorable to Mr. Pickens, and in December 2010 he announced that he is getting out of the wind power business.

What does he plan to do with his $2 billion worth of idle wind turbines? He is trying to sell them to Canada, because of Canadian law that mandates consumers to buy more renewable electricity regardles of cost."

Link to Original Source
top

Americans' Support for Nuclear Power Highest Ever

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to a new Gallup poll, 64% of Americans favored nuclear power as a means for generating electricity.

Though a majority of Americans has long supported nuclear power, Gallup said the latest rating is the highest since it began polling on the issue in 1994.

71% of Republicans supported nuclear, while 51% of Democrats did so."

Link to Original Source
top

Software Engineer Flies Plane into IRS Building

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "A software engineer flew his small airplane into an office building in Austin, Texas today. Fortunately none of the 199 IRS employees who work there were killed, even though the crash caused a massive fire that gutted the building.

The pilot, Joseph Stack, was the founder of a small software company that apparently had tax problems with the government, and he posted a disgruntled suicide note on his company webite. (archived version here.)"

Link to Original Source
top

Los Angeles City Website Crashed by MJ Memorial

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Spy Handler writes "The City of Los Angeles spent $1.4 million to provide security for Michael Jackson's memorial service on Tuesday, mostly in overtime pay for approximately 3000 police officers. Since the city was already in the midst of a severe budget crisis, it actively sought out donations from MJ fans, by asking them to go to the city's website and sending them money. (there is a prominent link at the top of the home page that says "JACKSON EVENT DONATIONS")

Unfortunately the website simply could not handle the surge in traffic and crashed repeatedly on Tuesday and Wednesday, one of them lasting for 12 hours. As of Wednesday the city has only received $17,000 in donations.

A quick check of the city's website reveals that it is running Sun Java Web Server 6.1"

Link to Original Source
top

Nazi Stealth Bomber Built and Tested

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Spy Handler writes "The Horton 229 Flying Wing, one of the more famous "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe" produced in the latter days of WWII, is noted for its striking similarity to the modern B-2 Stealth Bomber. The question remained, "How effective would it have been against Allied air defenses of the day?". Unfortunately no surviving example existed for testing... until now. Northrop Grumman, on its own time and money, built a replica using the original blueprints and conducted radar tests. The result? Very good for the Nazis, bad for Allied defenses trying to detect it.

National Geographic Channel will be airing a new documentary about this on Sunday July 5th. (Although Nat Geo calls it "Hitler's Stealth Fighter", the size and shape of the aircraft dictates that it wouldn't have been used for anything other than dropping bombs)"

Link to Original Source

Journals

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?